Friday, December 18, 2009

Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary,Western Sikkim


The Versey or Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is positioned in Western Sikkim in Singalila Range giving formation of a natural border with Nepal in The West. The sanctuary in addition borders the State West Bengal from Sikkim in the South by Rambong Khola stream.

The whole sanctuary is extends over 104 sq. km, crossways the Singalila Range. The Varsey Sanctuary can be accessed from three points, Dentam, Hilley, and Soreng. The trendiest entry is Hilley since it can be approached by road and Varsey which is about 4 Kms trek from this point throughout the marvelously laid gravel path shaded by diverse species of rhododendron.

Attraction and landscape:

Positioned at the altitude ranging between 6300 ft and 12000ft the sanctuary is a dwelling to quite a lot of species of Rhododendron, Magnolia, Primula, oaks and pine. The complete region is covered with thick primitive forest and most of the part till date remains unexplored. The sanctuary is as well renowned for rare Himalayan species like Black Bear and Red Panda.

The Varsey sanctuary is a admired offbeat trekking target in Sikkim. The adjacent road head is Hilley from where it is only an hour trek all the way through the stunning rhododendron forests. From Varsey one can opt for an exploratory trek route to Phalut in Darjeeling via Gorkhey.


The solitary accommodation in Varsey is obtainable in a gorgeous Trekker's hut Guras Koonge. Nestled at the apex of an oval formed hill in the midst of the Rhododendron forests at the height of 10,000 feet, the Trekkers' hut commands a outstanding panorama of the snowcapped peaks of the Singalila Range. The enormous Kunchenjungha peak ahead of the influence of lush virgin rhododendron forest forms an cherished landscape. The hut provided with the dormitory facility along with bedding for the disposal of trekkers. Here cooked foodstuff is available too.


Varsey sanctuary which has an elevation of over 10,000ft witnesses a existing wet and cold weather almost throughout the year. This climate favors the expansion of alpine forest mainly magnolia, oaks and rhododendron. July is the month with the heaviest rainfall. The sanctuary experiences an annual precipitation of about 250 cm. The higher ridges in the sanctuary receive regular snowfall during winter between December and February. The finest time to visit the sanctuary is between November and May when the skies remains clear along with best mountains sight. April and May sees the sanctuary blooming with rhododendron blossoms.

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